Alex’s Birth Story

By Alice Brooking
Photos are by Recollections Photography


I will start by saying everything I expected about his birth did not happen! I was expecting a shorter labour than what I had with Thomas (my first child-6 hours start to finish) but it was double that. I was expecting things would kick off during the night. I thought he would come earlier than what Thomas did. I thought my waters would break first like last time, but they didn’t. I was thinking he would be a Taurus baby, but he is a Gemini.

It was 5am on the 25th of May when I had my first little cramp that made me think hmm things might be starting. They felt like light tightening’s in my lower abdomen and since I had never had anything like that in the lead up to birth, I took notice of them. I was 41+3 weeks pregnant, so it was incredibly likely these were “real”. I went to the bathroom and noticed little streaks of blood and my mucus plug was present. I went back to bed and told David, my partner that I think it’s starting, and I text a friend asking if she could take Thomas to Kindy. I text my midwife Nicole, my sister Lucy and my friend/photographer Jade, as they were all invited to be at this birth.

I lay in bed timing the mild contractions until Thomas woke up, then started getting him ready for Kindy. All the while me bouncing on the exercise ball and having him climb all over me like it was a game. He totally knew what was going on. At about 9am Kate arrived to take Thomas to Kindy, and my contractions were still mild but coming frequently, every 3-5 mins. I contacted my midwife and we decided to leave it a bit longer for her to come. It was hard to know what to do as we were all expecting a fast birth like last time, contractions were frequent but light, so we didn’t want to leave it too long until she came just in case things progressed fast. Lucy (with my baby nephew) and Jade arrived around 11am and Nicole with a student midwife not long after that. Nicole told me that a client once told her that if you go into labour on a high tide, baby will come out when it is low tide (or maybe it was low tide then high tide… I can’t remember). We decided to look up the tide chart and it timed with 5am when things had started happening, and the next low tide was to be 6pm… we were like nahhhh, that is way too long. Well!!

David was with me the whole time being a great support, making sure I had everything I needed and just being present me through my tightening’s. Things had slowed a bit when everyone arrived so when Lucy arrived, she massaged some acupressure points on my legs to help support this process then David and I walked around our house a few times stopping every now and then to breathe through a contraction. I laboured over the ball quite a lot with a hot water bottle on my lower back which helped. After lunch, I asked Nicole to check and see how dilated I was. It seemed as though I had been labouring awhile, I was still very calm through the contractions, and she was surprised to discover I was already about 8/9cm dilated. I had told her not to tell me how dilated I was on the off chance it may mess with my mental progress. I knew I was progressing well when after that she started gearing up for the birth.

Things seemed to have stalled and the hours passed, and I just wasn’t feeling the pressure of him coming down. I agreed to another internal check, we discovered that there was a bit of cervix that had not moved out of the way. Nicole did a sweep to try and move it out of the way which was incredibly uncomfortable as I had to lay down and go through the contractions laying down and I much preferred to be standing and swaying and moving through them. After the sweep we tried lots of different things to get my baby to move past that cervix. We tried a technique called Rebozo as well as shaking my hips to help but still nothing changing. Maybe because I was calm the whole time, I think was giving off the vibe that my contractions were not very strong… they definitely were intense, especially for being at 9cm for so long. There were times where I’d feel a little bit of pressure, but it would go away, and I just felt like it was contraction after contraction, and nothing was changing. After a couple of hours of this we decided to try an I.V line to give me some fluids and hopefully strengthen my contractions more. I was drinking so much water and coconut water, but I was beginning to get dehydrated.

5.15pm my back up midwife arrived and after some discussion we decided to call an ambulance. I had been labouring all day; we couldn’t find a vein for the I.V and the idea of an epidural began to sound really nice… I knew however that what I actually really wanted was to have my baby at home. This gained me some strength to keep going. We had no idea how long the ambulance would take to get here so in the meantime with some discussion and informed consent, Nicole broke my waters that were bulging from my cervix in the hopes it would move things along.

5:30pm-ish. Contractions ramped up and I began feeling pressure. I may have looked like I was handling this incredibly well but, on the inside, I began to call on my grandma in spirit, my ancestors and my spirit guides.

It was nearing 6pm and I felt the urge to push which was much harder and more intense this time compared to with Thomas. With only 8 minutes of pushing, it was absolutely excruciating! This was where my midwife believed I was tearing. The absolute relief I felt once his head was out, was incredible, there was a moment of quiet then another big contraction. A push. His body was out. I caught my baby myself and brought him up onto my chest. I gave birth kneeling next to my bed.

I decided to get up and into my bed and choose to have a managed third stage of labour. I delayed clamping my baby’s cord for about 8 or 9 minutes which I felt comfortable with and then Lucy cut the cord. I needed some stitches as id suffered a second-degree tear, that horrible pain and I began to focus on getting baby to my breast. Lucy had made me a light soup and spoon fed it to me in bed while she wore her baby in the front pack. Once all that was done, I got up to have a shower and my new baby Alex had his first checks. I had made the decision to pack everything up at home and got my bags organised and ready to go up to the birth centre for postpartum care.

Overall, my birth experience was empowering, and I feel very proud of myself for getting through, keeping it cool and calm, and I felt in control the whole time. David was an incredible rock, sitting and being present with me throughout the entire experience. Lucy was an amazing support and help even with having her 3 month old bubba with her! Supermum! Her support actually helped me so much during the pushing phase and her reminders to breathe. My midwife Nicole was amazing the whole time and all throughout my whole pregnancy, I was so grateful I was able to have her for both of my babies. This time I said yes to having a student midwife present, her name was Katie, and she was lovely and my back up midwife Nina was great too! Jade, my friend and photographer was awesome and to be honest, I hardly noticed her taking photos at all. She got some really amazing shot’s; some I’ve decided to keep private but I’m so happy to share what I have here. I came out of my birth experience feeling empowered, heard, respected and very proud of myself!